I love South Africa. Without a doubt, it's the most beautiful country I've ever visited and lived in, and I miss it a lot. It is a great shame that some people think of South Africa only in terms of politics, because believe me, this country is paradise on Earth, and I can tell you that if you haven't been there, you haven't lived. South Africans are very appreciative of their beautiful surroundings and wildlife, and I'm hoping to try and share this with you on this site, so sit back and relax and enjoy my ramblings on here as well as photos I've taken in various parts of this country. Off we go then!
So what's my connection with South Africa all about? Well, I lived in Bryanston in the stunning Transvaal when I was younger, attending St. Peters School. It was brilliant there and my fondest school memories are from this school, especially as schools here in England just cannot compete for spacious grounds, excellent education and learning in an environment of respect and discipline. I returned to England after my schooling days there, but went back for a short time to work with Gencor up in Rustenburg for a short period. I was lucky to have dated a great South Afican girl Liesl, and I spent 2 wonderful Christmas holidays with her and her family in Newlands, Cape Town. I was very close to her father who was a brilliant guy - he died a few years ago, and he holds a special place in my heart - rest in peace Louis.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit South Africa, jump at it immediately. The first thing that will strike you as you tour the country, is the diversity of its landscape. From the Eastern Transvaal, where the dry savannah hides vast numbers of a whole range of wildlife,
to the beaches and cosmopolitan feel of Cape Town. The tourist board of South Africa's slogan is "A World in One Country" - I couldn't agree more.
Cape Town is my particular favourite as there's so much to do there. Laze around on the beautiful beaches with the mountains behind you, or grab
some food and entertainment at the multi-cultural Waterfront. I've travelled all over South Africa, so here's some tips as to major landmarks to head for.
There are some places that you have to see. The first, and probably one of the most famous, is the Kruger National Park.
This is an area, the size of Wales, that has been put aside exclusively as a game reserve. South African's are very conscientious about their wildlife and their country's beauty. You have to see it to believe it. Kruger is a brilliant place to see wildlife from the comfort (and safety!) of your car. Situated within the park are several lodges, often overlooking watering holes and built to blend in with the surrounding landscape, where you can stay the night, some offering luxurious standards of accommodation. If you click on the image to the right, you'll be transported to AfriCam, which in my opinion is the best WebCam site out on the net. Period. It has several webcams situated at different waterholes in Kruger, where you can view wildlife live in the luxury of your own home. The picture on the right is a collage of animals I saw visiting a waterhole in a period of about 5 minutes. They even have webcams which the rangers take out on their vehicles, so you can effectively go on safari virtually. Wow! Here for example is an animated sequence of pictures of an elephant taking a bath .... Elephant bath (1.7MB). (Thanks go to my buddy Johan for this!) Situated to the west of Kruger, your next stop off should be Blyde River canyon, which is South Africa's answer to America's Grand Canyon - just better! I mean, there are no tourist traps there, no railings at the edge of the canyon - you just sit on top, and take in the awesome view down, listening to the sounds of nature, and watching the eagles soar below you.
At this stage, you could choose to drive down through the Drakensberg mountains and Lesotho for some dramatic scenery, and head towards Durban's beaches. From there why not head round the coast on a long drive, taking in the Garden Route as you head towards Cape Town. Cape Town has it all - you can easily waste four weeks there. Whilst you are there, don't leave without driving down Chapman's Peak Drive, going up the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, visiting the Waterfront, seeing the stunning setting of UCT (University of Cape Town), close by the Rhodes Memorial and run naked on the naturist beach at Sandy bay! And for a real treat, go swimming with the wild penguins at Boulders beach. I mean it - I've done it!
I took these photos in South Africa, most of them in Kruger. Do enjoy them! I've had to reduce a lot of them in size to save space on my website, but many are more than big enough for you to use as your Windows wallpaper. Please note that all these photos are Copyright © Dr. James C. Hallows, 1999.
I didn't take these photos below, but I bought them in South Africa. So thanks to the original author!
There's so much to do, that there's no way I can cover it all here, so why not visit South Africa virtually.
Take your pick from:
If you know of some links to great South African pages, please e-mail them to me and I'll pop them up here. Remember, there are a lot of us who dearly miss SA and can't get enough of seeing it up on the Net.
Coming soon .. more pictures that I've taken in this beautiful country.